Establishing Legal Residency
To become a resident of Florida, a person must establish a home or a permanent dwelling place and demonstrate the intent to make Florida the place of permanent legal residence. There is no fixed waiting period required before a person can become a resident. Simply produce proof of intent to establish residence by filing a sworn statement with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county where your new residence is located. There is a fee, and a driver's license or other picture identification is required for recording the affidavit.
The residency period required to establish eligibility for the following may be determined from the date the statement is filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
- State or County Employment: There is no residency requirement for employment with most state or county government agencies; however, preference may be given to Florida residents.
- Homestead Exemption: Florida residents are entitled to property tax exemptions of up to $25,000 on the assessed value of owner-or dependent-occupied homesteads. An application must be filed with the County Property Appraiser between January and March of the tax year in order to receive these exemptions.
- Voting and Jury Duty : Any person who is 18 years of age or older, a citizen of the United States, and a permanent resident of Florida and of the county where he or she wishes to qualify to vote, may register with the Supervisor of Elections when the voter registration books are open. The books close 30 days before an election and reopen following the election. Persons selected for jury duty are taken from the roll of registered voters. I think you can do this at the Driver's License office.
- School Tuition Fees: Pupils in grades kindergarten through 12 whose parents or guardians are nonresidents of Florida should have a written Agreement of Transfer of Schools and may be charged a tuition fee payable at the time the pupil is enrolled. Tuition will be waived if a parent or guardian has lived in Florida more than one year, has purchased a home in Florida which is occupied as their residence prior to the enrollment of the child (or children) in school, and has filed an affidavit of domicile in the county where the child is enrolled. Fees may also be waived for certain individuals, such as military personnel. In order to qualify for in-state tuition fees at the state's public universities and community colleges, a student (or parent or guardian, if the student is a dependent) must have resided in Florida for 12 consecutive months prior to enrollment.
- Eligibility for Dissolution of Marriage: To obtain a divorce, one of the parties to the marriage must have lived in Florida for six months prior to filing the petition.
- Candidacy for Public Office: All candidates for office must be U.S. citizens and registered voters in Florida. Candidates for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Florida Cabinet must be at least 30 and have been a Florida resident for the preceding seven years. Any candidate for the Florida Legislature must be at least 21 and a resident of the district he or she wishes to represent. A candidate for local office must be a resident of the appropriate district.
- Driver's License: To operate a motor vehicle in the state, new residents are required to obtain a Florida driver's license within 30 days of accepting gainful employment, entering children in public schools, registering to vote, or filing for homestead exemption. Full-time nonresident students are exempt from this requirement.
- Motor Vehicle Registration: To operate a motor vehicle on roads in the state, new residents are required to register their motor vehicles within 10 days of accepting gainful employment, entering children in public schools, registering to vote, or filing for the homestead exemption. Full-time nonresident college students are exempt from this requirement.
- Noncommercial Fishing and Hunting Licenses: To qualify for resident statewide licenses, a person must have resided continuously for six months in Florida. Armed services personnel stationed in Florida and students enrolled in colleges and universities in the state are considered residents.
The general requirements for declaration of domicile are set forth in the Florida Statutes, Chapter 222.17
This link takes you to the Florida Driver's License information.
http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/dlnew.html Once this page is open, click on the "Documents You Need to Bring" box located on the right menu bar.
This link gives you the locations of all the Miami-Dade driver's license offices. You can make an appointment on-line for any of the locations. http://www.flhsmv.gov/offices/miamidade.html
222.17 Manifesting and evidencing domicile in Florida.--
(1) Any person who shall have established a domicile in this state may manifest and evidence the same by filing in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which the said person shall reside, a sworn statement showing that he or she resides in and maintains a place of abode in that county which he or she recognizes and intends to maintain as his or her permanent home.
(2) Any person who shall have established a domicile in the State of Florida, but who shall maintain another place or places of abode in some other state or states, may manifest and evidence his or her domicile in this state by filing in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which he or she resides, a sworn statement that his or her place of abode in Florida constitutes his or her predominant and principal home, and that he or she intends to continue it permanently as such.
(3) Such sworn statement shall contain, in addition to the foregoing, a declaration that the person making the same is, at the time of making such statement, a bona fide resident of the state, and shall set forth therein his or her place of residence within the state, the city, county and state wherein he or she formerly resided, and the place or places, if any, where he or she maintains another or other place or places of abode.
(4) Any person who shall have been or who shall be domiciled in a state other than the State of Florida, and who has or who may have a place of abode within the State of Florida, or who has or may do or perform other acts within the State of Florida, which independently of the actual intention of such person respecting his or her domicile might be taken to indicate that such person is or may intend to be or become domiciled in the State of Florida, and if such person desires to maintain or continue his or her domicile in such state other than the State of Florida, the person may manifest and evidence his or her permanent domicile and intention to permanently maintain and continue his or her domicile in such state other than the State of Florida, by filing in the office of the clerk of the circuit court in any county in the State of Florida in which the person may have a place of abode or in which the person may have done or performed such acts which independently may indicate that he or she is or may intend to be or become domiciled in the State of Florida, a sworn statement that the person's domicile is in such state other than the State of Florida, as the case may be, naming such state where he or she is domiciled and stating that he or she intends to permanently continue and maintain his or her domicile in such other state so named in said sworn statement. Such sworn statement shall also contain a declaration that the person making the same is at the time of the making of such statement a bona fide resident of such state other than the State of Florida, and shall set forth therein his or her place of abode within the State of Florida, if any. Such sworn statement may contain such other and further facts with reference to any acts done or performed by such person which such person desires or intends not to be construed as evidencing any intention to establish his or her domicile within the State of Florida.
(5) The sworn statement permitted by this section shall be signed under oath before an official authorized to take affidavits. Upon the filing of such declaration with the clerk of the circuit court, it shall be the duty of the clerk in whose office such declaration is filed to record the same in a book to be provided for that purpose. For the performance of the duties herein prescribed, the clerk of the circuit court shall collect a service charge for each declaration as provided in s. 28.24.
(6) It shall be the duty of the Department of Legal Affairs to prescribe a form for the declaration herein provided for, and to furnish the same to the several clerks of the circuit courts of the state.
(7) Nothing herein shall be construed to repeal or abrogate other existing methods of proving and evidencing domicile except as herein specifically provided.